on 12 January 2008
This is a well written account of Africa's pre-colonial social and political underpinnings as determined by its geography and the scale of its population, and how the comparative abundance of land per head of population positively impacted on inter-tribal conflict resolution, but helped to fuel the trade in people for such activity as slavery, etc, since people were more valued than land, as was more the case in Europe, the creator of the nation-state and their hard boundaries.
It was also valuable to read about how little the European colonialists actually impacted Africa beyond the bare necessity of securing rights with respect to the most valuable of commercial activity, it deemed hopelessly uneconomical to administer such vast and inhospitable to human life territories in the face of very uncertain gains. Which helps to better understand why Africa as an entity, is so difficult to develop beyond its seemingly insurmountable state of comparative poverty.
The bulk of Africa's current difficulties are rooted in a combination of an international desire to see Africa as a continent of nation-states based on the convenient boundaries agreed upon in Berlin, the desire for African leaders to avail themselves of the power derived from such recognition, and the persistence of the international community to keep funding an arrangement which cannot ever be viable. This does not mean that Africans must inevitably be doomed to suffer in comparison to other peoples, but Africans must be allowed to develop along alternative lines to those of contemporary Europe.
As per Kenyan economist James Shikwati: 'For God's sake, stop helping Africa.'